(Minghui.org) A 68-year-old Shanghai resident is now having a portion of her pension suspended due to a previous prison term for her faith in Falun Gong, a mind-body practice that has been persecuted by the Chinese communist regime since 1999.
Ms. Qin Yuexiu was arrested on August 10, 2017, after being reported for distributing DVDs with information about Falun Gong. She stood trial on March 23, 2018, and pleaded not guilty for practicing her faith, which she credits for curing her rheumatoid arthritis and many other ailments. Her lawyer entered a not guilty plea for her and demanded her acquittal. The judge sentenced her to 1.5 years with 6,000 yuan fine.
Ms. Qin was taken to the Nanhui Prison in Shanghai on July 23, 2018. She was hospitalized in less than a month due to a medical condition.
Ms. Yue’s imprisonment left her family in a dire situation, especially for her husband, who suffered a stroke in 2016 and depended on her for care.
One month after she was released in February 2019, she received a letter from the local Social Security Office, asking her to return the pension she had received during her 1.5-year term. The letter cited a new policy that forbade all Falun Gong practitioners imprisoned for their faith from receiving any form of income (including pension funds), although the ruling is nowhere to be found in the Chinese labor law.
Ms. Qin didn’t acknowledge the letter and never responded to it. She received two more copies of the notice, in September 2019 and October 2020.
In recent months, the Social Security Office began to deduct a portion of Ms. Qin’s pension each month to pay off her “debt.”
Prior to her latest persecution, Ms. Qin has served three years in prison between 2002 and 2005, during which time her son got married and had a child. Her daughter-in-law sometimes expressed discontent with Ms. Qin for inviting the persecution by upholding her faith. After Ms. Qin was released, she helped care for her grandchild and her family relationships improved.